Skip to main content

Illinois IGB

Huimin Zhao

Direct cloning method CAPTUREs novel microbial natural products

February 19, 2021

Microorganisms possess natural product biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) that may harbor unique bioactivities for use in drug development and agricultural applications. However, many uncharacterized microbial BGCs remain inaccessible. Researchers at Illinois previously demonstrated a technique using transcription factor decoys to activate large, silent BGCs in bacteria to aid in natural product discovery.


February 19, 2021


Related Articles

Genome-editing tool TALEN outperforms CRISPR-Cas9 in tightly packed DNA

January 28, 2021

Researchers used single-molecule imaging to compare the genome-editing tools CRISPR-Cas9 and TALEN. Their experiments revealed that TALEN is up to five times more efficient than CRISPR-Cas9 in parts of the genome, called heterochromatin, that are densely packed. Fragile X syndrome, sickle cell anemia, beta-thalassemia and other diseases are the result of genetic defects in the heterochromatin.


January 28, 2021


Related Articles

$20M NSF grant, new artificial intelligence institute for molecule synthesis

August 28, 2020

A team led by Steven L. Miller Chair professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering Huimin Zhao (BSD leader/CABBI/MMG) was awarded a five-year $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the NSF Artificial Intelligence (AI) Institute for Molecular Discovery, Synthetic Strategy and Manufacturing (Molecule Maker Lab Institute or MMLI).


August 28, 2020


Related Articles

Triple-Threat Genetic Toolkit for Producing Eco-Friendly Chemicals

March 27, 2020

Researchers have developed a triad of innovative tools to engineer low-pH-tolerant yeast Issatchenkia orientalis for production of valuable bioproducts from renewable biomass.

A paper published in Metabolic Engineering outlines the study’s three-pronged approach and its importance to the field of sustainable chemical production.


March 27, 2020


Related Articles

For CRISPR, tweaking DNA fragments yields highest efficiency rates yet

January 2, 2020

University of Illinois researchers achieved the highest reported rates of inserting genes into human cells with the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system, a necessary step for harnessing CRISPR for clinical gene-therapy applications.

By chemically tweaking the ends of the DNA to be inserted, the new technique is up to five times more efficient than current approaches. The researchers saw improvements at various genetic locations tested in a human kidney cell line, even seeing 65% insertion at one site where the previous high had been 15%.


January 2, 2020


Related Articles

MAGIC system allows researchers to modulate activity of genes acting in concert

December 16, 2019

Genomic research has unlocked the capability to edit the genomes of living cells; yet so far, the effects of such changes must be examined in isolation. In contrast, the complex traits that are of interest in both fundamental and applied research, such as those related to microbial biofuel production, involve many genes acting in concert. A newly developed system will now allow researchers to fine-tune the activity of multiple genes simultaneously.


December 16, 2019


Related Articles

Artificial intelligence to run the chemical factories of the future

November 13, 2019

A new proof-of-concept study details how an automated system driven by artificial intelligence can design, build, test and learn complex biochemical pathways to efficiently produce lycopene, a red pigment found in tomatoes and commonly used as a food coloring, opening the door to a wide range of biosynthetic applications, researchers report.  


November 13, 2019


Related Articles

Subscribe to Huimin Zhao